The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Gene Research Center, Hirosaki University Associate Professor Shinji Akada

Elucidation of genetic/ecological mechanisms for creation of diversity in adoptive gene expression under environmental/selection pressure within Japanese beech in Shirakami-Sanchi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Research grant

Project Description

Rapid changes in climate apparent in recent years have placed wildlife habitats under new environmental/selection pressures, and it is thought that the gene expressions of organisms within them will change accordingly. In this research, we assess the degree to which genetic and ecological effects have contributed to the diversity of adaptive gene expression within natural populations. By this, we hope to provide a genetics-based foundation for the preservation of animal diversity under further climatic shifting.

Climate changeMarine resources/foodPreservation of surface soil and forestsPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2009 Research Grants
Grant term
2 years
April 2010 - March 2012
Grant amount
3,000,000 yen
Activity region
Beech forests in Shirakami-Sanchi and other locations in Japan
Surveying beech in the Takakuramori forest of Shirakami-Sanchi

Overview of the Organization

Associate Professor Shinji Akada
Associate Professor Shinji Akada
Specialist fields
Plant molecular genetics; plant physiology
Affiliated academic societies
Japanese Society of Breeding; Japanese Forestry Society; Molecular Biology Society of Japan
In 1981 graduated from Biology within the Faculty of Science, Shinshu University. Obtainted a Ph.D. (agriculture), Graduate School of Bioagricultural Studies, Nagoya University in 1986. In the same year, became a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. In 1993 was appointed Assistant Professor at the Gene Research Institute, Hirosaki University. 1994 became Deputy Faculty Advisor at the United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Iwate University (joint assignment). In 2001 became the Main Faculty Advisor at the United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Iwate University (joint assignment)
WEB site
Collaborating researchers
Daisuke HIGAKI, Professor, Hirosaki University; Kiyoshi ISHIDA, Associate Professor, same; Kazushige HONDA, Associate Professor, same; Takeshi TORIMARU, Assistant Professor, same.
Research record
Analysis of environmentally responsive MYB transcription factors in soybean and beech
Survey of genetic composition of Shirakami beech trees
  • (1) S. Akada, H. Suzuki, S. Matsuda, H. Makita, Y. Mishima, M. Saito, N. Saito, D. Higaki (2009), The vegetation and genetic analysis of the beech forests with various land structures in Mt. Takakuramori, Shirakami Kenkyu, 6, 35-43.
  • (2) S. Akada, S. Matsuda, H. Makita, Molecular diversity of beech forest and its conservation, Vol. 61 (5) pp. 43-47.
  • (3) Miyake, K., T. Ito, M. Senda, R. Ishikawa, T. Harada, M. Niizeki and S. Akada (2003), Isolation of a subfamily of genes for R2R3-MYB transcription factors showing up-regulated expression under nitrogen nutrient-limited conditions. Plant Molecular Biology. 53, 237-245.